The talk of a general election, amid a Brexit crisis, is now getting louder and louder with the appointment of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.
After two more years of Brexit struggles, several controversies under Theresa May’s government and the involvement of the DUP, opposition parties may be itching to get the chance to hold a general election in 2019.
A no-confidence vote could be on the table for Jeremy Corbyn in the near future. If he feels that he can win it, will he utilise this and automatically trigger a general election?
Here are my predictions on how I see each party fairing if there is a General Election before we leave the European Union, along with how many seats they won in the last general election.
The potential for both losses and gains for the Tory Party (2017 GE Seats: 317)
Boris Johnson’s willingness to take the UK out of the EU with no-deal could be detrimental for Tory seats where their constituencies have voted for Remain.
However, they could also brush the Brexit Party aside with this strategy, which neutralises the threat of Nigel Farage decimating the Tories. Hospital upgrades and more police on the street could also work in Johnson’s favour, who wants to bring the country together.
With Theresa May, they probably would’ve lost an election to Jeremy Corbyn. With Boris Johnson, they have hope that they can gain Labour seats in the north where a large proportion of people voted to leave.
A fierce battle between the DUP and Sinn Fein would continue to take place for seats in Northern Ireland. The Tories will be hoping that the former will come out successful, with the DUP being pro-Leave. The DUP won 10 seats in the last GE compared to Sinn Fein’s 7.
A mixed set of results for Labour (2017 GE Seats: 262)
Labour’s domestic policies and advocation of socialism may pay dividends for Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party. This could attract a number of voters from marginal Tory/Lib Dem seats to vote for Labour, which could increase their tally. Their remain stance on Brexit could also help them retain seats in London areas, Scotland (who voted to remain as a nation) and strong Remain areas.
However, they may lose seats to the Tory Party in the north, where constituencies generally voted to leave. Boris Johnson’s promise of leaving the EU on October 31 could severely damage Labour’s results in the north, regardless of their domestic policies.
Will Lib Dems steal Labour’s thunder? (2017 GE Seats: 12)
The one thing that the Liberal Democrats have on their side is the fact that they were always a Remain party. They have pretty much led the case for a second referendum over the last couple of years. This is something that the Labour Party are only just starting to do.
Can they replicate their results in the European Parliament elections and decimate Labour again? They may not be as successful, now that Jeremy Corbyn has finally caved in to the pressure of remainers in his party. However, they are likely to gain more seats than they did back in 2017 if the election is pre-Brexit.
SNP (2017 GE Seats: 35) and Plaid Cymru (2017 GE Seats: 4) to benefit from Brexit
Both of these parties did well in the European elections back in May, especially Plaid Cymru who benefited majorly off of Labour losses in Wales.
These pro-independent parties may do well from their nationals who voted Remain in the EU referendum; especially the SNP, as a result of Scotland voting overwhelmingly to stay in the European Union.
SNP could see a similar result to the huge amount of seats that they gained in the 2015 election — a threat, the consequences of which would undoubtedly be felt by both Tories and Labour in any pre-Brexit election.
Wales is still dominated by Labour seats, but Plaid Cymru could come and change that. Corbyn’s U-turn on a second referendum may make no difference.
A surge for the Green Party? (2017 GE Seats: 1)
The issue of climate change is now more relevant than ever. Extinction Rebellion have helped raise awareness of the issues that the planet is currently facing with pollution and carbon emissions, staging illegal protests that have received wide attention from the media.
Another similar group that has received attention from the media more recently is Greenpeace. Their protesters formed a barrier which temporarily halted Boris Johnson en route to see the Queen to become Prime Minister.
Although this issue was handled quickly by the police, this was still a major talking point.
All this attention on climate change could help the Green Party gain more seats in left-wing areas of the country. Their support for free movement will also help their case when it comes to constituencies that voted to stay in the EU. It’s now up to the Greens to step up and be heard. They could surprise a few.
The possible emergence of the Brexit Party
Although hard Brexiteers may go ahead and vote for this party on the basis that they want a no-deal Brexit. This is something that Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to avoid, which could turn many people’s heads towards the Brexit Party, despite his promise of leaving the EU on October 31st with or without a deal.
The Brexit Party would certainly thrive in a general election if Theresa May was still the Conservative Party leader. But with the appointment of Johnson, support for Farage may dwindle considerably on the basis that his party has no other policies other than Brexit.